Even though my heart is back to normal after suffering two cardiac arrests eight months ago, the doctors insist on keeping me on a medication that will continue to allow my heart to rest and relax. The down-side to the drug is that if I were to get pregnant it can cause birth defects. In my book (which will hopefully be available in June), I go into what the doctors say about my future for pregnancy in more detail. While I am on this drug for next year or so, my husband and I will not try to have children, as we have a grave circumstance (medication causing birth-defects) requiring us to wait.
With that said, we desire to have children. Our dream is to have at least five or as many as the Lord wants to give us. Even with this grave reason to wait on having children on our own, we have decided to be open—open to adoption. We have prayed that if the Lord wills it, He will drop a child into our laps, so to speak. We will not necessarily actively seek it out right at the moment, but we are open, ready and willing if the Lord presents the opportunity.
This past Thursday, I received a message from a woman whose niece was going to have an abortion. She asked if I could intercede. I saw that the e-mail was left late Wednesday night while I was sleeping and I got the message Thursday morning and attempted to reach the woman at 8 a.m. only to get her machine. I left a message saying I would like to help her niece make the right decision and to call me immediately. I did not hear back. I prayed and thought about this young girl often throughout the day hoping at any moment I would receive a phone call. As the previous Education Director for Arizona Right to Life, I had many of these conversations with women before, but this time, I felt more anxious and impatient. At 1:00 p.m., I decided to call the woman again. She answered—I heard a sad tone as she said those words I didn’t want to hear, “My niece already had the abortion this morning. The baby is dead.”
I felt like I got punched in the gut. I wanted to cry, thinking that the message was only sent late last night, and this young woman has already had the abortion. How could this be? I have had many of these conversations in the past, but for some reason, this time, it felt personal.
I told the woman that I would still like to speak with her niece to help her not make this same choice again and to offer her options like Rachel’s Vineyard for healing. After we hung up, sadness loomed over me. It seemed like I was having a selfish, yet selfless sadness as I thought, “I would have adopted that baby.”
If only I could have turned back the clock just a few hours to meet with this pregnant woman, sit her down, hear her story, and tell her mine. I would have encouraged her to be heroic—to offer this human being growing inside of her— a life. And, if she wasn’t willing or able to care for her child herself, I wanted her to be able to look into my eyes, to see my authentic willingness to not only love her, but her child as well. If only she could have looked in my eyes, she would have sensed that my heart could have loved her child beyond measure. I know I could have convinced her to keep her child.
This may sound weird, but I feel like I lost a child that day. I know the child was not mine, but he/she could have been. These past few days I have been in mourning for that soul whose life was taken shortly after it began. I imagine my efforts in saving babies will take on a whole new meaning now that I have survived my AFE. I imagine that every child I cannot save, I will view as losing one of my own–one that my husband and I would have taken into our home and introduced this child to their new brother and sister, Brady and Ella. We could have been that child’s family. Oh how my heart aches for that lost child and the millions more lost to this selfish act. My heart aches for others who can only be open to life by means of adoption—for those waiting for the day a woman makes the heroic decision to not abort her baby and give that child a life by placing him/her in the hands of people who have the capacity to love beyond measure.
The very same woman I spoke with on the phone who shared that heart wrenching news with me, also told me something that warmed my heart. She said she knew to contact me to see if I would intercede because she was at the hospital while I was in critical condition. I was taken aback by this as I did not even know her. She said that while she was in the waiting room, she overheard a man ask my sister how I was doing. My sister inquired how he knew me and he shared that he did not know me personally, but he heard about what happen on Facebook. He then proceeded to share that I had come to his school to give a talk about abortion when his girlfriend was pregnant. This young man said he and his girlfriend had plans to abort their baby until they heard my talk. He came to the hospital to tell me that I was the reason their baby lived and their child is now three years-old.
As I have spent much of my life educating on the reality of abortion and trying to save lives, I realize that there are babies that I have “probably” helped to save, but I have never seen the face of one of those children or heard from a couple like this one that came to be at the hospital with me.
This phone conversation was surreal. My heart was breaking over the child that just lost his/her life–but in the same conversation, I found out that I saved a life I never knew about.
Whenever confused or distraught, I invite the Lord in to reveal himself in the circumstance at hand, so I did, wondering why all this—in the same conversation. Was the Lord trying to encourage my discouraged heart? Was He allowing me to see that my work does save lives, and that I must continue? What I do know is that the Lord has ignited an even bigger passion for me to save lives by making it personal—allowing me to see a glimpse of the pain He feels when a one of His children loses their life to abortion.
Please let us continue to pray for an end to abortion, for healing for all women who have chosen abortion, for pregnant women to have the courage to choose life for their children, and for those waiting to adopt, that a child will be placed in their loving arms. Let us pray!